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vol. cxlv, no. 63 | Friday, September 3, 2010 | Serving the community daily since 1891

Groups court frosh at activities fair By Caitlin Trujillo Senior Staff Writer

Max Monn / Herald

The Olney-Margolies Athletic Center played matchmaker between student groups and first-years Thursday night.

The juggling clubs rise and fall in the air, caught and then tossed again by both amateurs and seasoned members of the Out of Hand Juggling Club. “A lot of freshmen come in already knowing how to do all sorts of things,” said Benjamin Lichtner ’12, the club’s co-president, as he watched students show off their skills in front of the club’s booth at the Student Activities Fair Thursday night. The fair drew over 275 student

groups and a sizeable chunk of the first-year student body into the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center, where club members shared their talents and ideas as freshmen crowded the track to search for organizations that appealed to them. The event opened to first years at 7 p.m., and within minutes some booths were swamped. “People showed up really fast, just in general,” Lichtner said, noting that four people signed up for Out of Hand’s mailing list within the first 20 minutes. The club lost many continued on page 4

Anthro ‘Use common sense’ with Earl, U. warns museum gets grant By Alex Bell Senior Staff Writer

By Abby Kerson Contributing Writer

A grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, awarded in June to the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology as part of a K-12 Civics Initiative Major Grant, will be used for outreach programs for local schools. The museum was one of eight groups to win the grant. The Haf fenref fer, located in Manning Hall, is a recent addition to the Main Green. After the fire marshal deemed the museum’s home in Bristol, R.I., to be unsafe for public use in 2008, the Haffenreffer moved its exhibitions into Manning Hall, leaving its office space and collections behind. The Bristol location has since been converted into a storage facility for the artifacts, which number over 100,000 in total. Although there are plans to get the Haffenreffer a larger location someday, the museum will not be moving in the near future, said Steven Lubar, professor of American civilization and recently appointed director of the Haffenreffer. The move to campus has made the museum much more accessible to the University. It offers a free student membership, which includes access to over 200 other museums across the country. Lubar said one of his goals as director is to spread the word about the Haffenreffer and to encourage “faculty and students to think of it as a resource just like

inside

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News.....1–4 Editorial......6 Opinion......7 Today.........8

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The University’s Core Crisis Team, composed of administrators who convene to plan responses to emergencies, met Wednesday to review Brown’s hurricane plan in preparation for Hurricane Earl. “Although it is still too early to have any degree of certainty about the hurricane’s track and intensity when it reaches New England, a tropical storm watch has been issued for Rhode Island and current forecasts call for heavy rainfall and high winds on Friday

into Saturday,” Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services Margaret Klawunn wrote in an email to the student body Thursday morning. Russell Carey ’91 MA’06, senior vice president for Corporation affairs and governance and chief risk officer, who leads the Core Crisis Team, said he sent out a similar e-mail Wednesday evening to faculty and staff. Though Carey said the University will follow Brown’s existing 15-page hurricane plan ver y closely, the team is paying special attention to the possibility of

needing to reschedule or relocate orientation events planned for the first weekend of the school year. Carey also cautioned students wishing to travel this weekend. Klawunn’s e-mail warned of potentially dangerous beach conditions including rough surf, beach erosion and rip currents. Carey said precautions already put in place include generators at vital locations such as the Sharpe Refectory and food and water supplies around campus. Facilities Management has also been securing construction sites to protect from damaging winds.

Given forecasts predicting that Earl will weaken, the University does not anticipate instructing those on campus to take shelter, but does have plans for emergency shelters if the need arises, Carey wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. Carey’s first tip was to pay attention. “If something really big happens, we can use the emergency communication system,” Carey said. “But one of the most important things people can do is continued on page 4

Bibliophiles at Bell mark Hay’s birthday By Kristina Fazzalaro Senior Staff Writer

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the John Hay Library, a new exhibit showcasing highlights from the library’s collection is on display in the David Winton Bell Gallery. “Pictures from the Hay: Cel-

ARTS & CULTURE ebrating the John Hay Library at 100” features some of the rare books, engravings, carvings and photographs usually hidden away in the Hay’s archives. According to Maya Allison, a curator at the Bell Gallery, the exhibit was planned as a collaboration between the library and the gallery. Allison said Jo-Ann Conklin, director of the Bell Gallery, worked closely

with the specialized librarians of the Hay to select appropriate pieces for the show that would highlight the diversity and uniqueness the trove of exceptional books has to offer. The Hay houses the University’s compilation of rare books and manuscripts, the University archives and several other prominent collections including the Abraham Lincoln Collection and the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, which showcases one of the world’s largest sets of toy soldiers. This quirky combination of objects sets the stage for a seemingly neverending array of entertainment for resident bibliophiles. The Bell Gallery has taken selections from each collection and created an enticing glimpse into

Nick Sinnott-Armstrong / Herald file photo

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The John Hay Library, which turns 100 in November, is the subject of a celebratory exhibit in the David Winton Bell Gallery through Oct. 31.

News, 3

D & C, 6

Opinions, 7

JOIN THE HERALD

conquering the crash BCA looks to avoid website failure when fall concert tickets go on sale

Diamonds and coal Looking back at recent news on campus ­— including Chipotle’s big move

taking in tragedy Michelle Uhrich ’11 reflects on mortality after deaths in the Brown community

General info sessions Sept. 6 and 7, 8 p.m. 195 Angell St.

195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island

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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

Friday, September 3, 2010

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Hay Library showcases Museum expands access for K-12 students its rare collections continued from page 1

continued from page 1 a unique world of paper and pen. Allison said she hopes this exhibit will inspire students to walk around the corner and explore the Hay for themselves. The expert librarians at the Hay serve almost as curators over their collections, Allison said. With their intimate knowledge of the Hay collection, the librarians were also essential in the process of selecting works to display, advising Conklin and the other curators on which pieces would be appropriate and interesting. The result is a thematically organized display with six sections, each drawing on material from collections within the library. The Sciences section, for example, includes a copy of Galileo’s “Dialogo,” which has recently been thought to contain marginal annotations by the scientist himself. This amazing discovery stands beside engravings by Swiss naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian,

antique Chinese diagnostic dolls and other writings and visual studies by scientists the world over. Other highlights include a scrapbook kept by political cartoonist Thomas Nast; a copy of “Three Poems” by Octavio Paz, which includes lithographs by Robert Motherwell; and several interactive displays, including a digitized version of a paper doll. Because the exhibit is so varied, even those well acquainted with the Hay archives should be able to find something new. “One librarian worked (at the Hay) for 25 years, and there were things she’d never seen before on display,” Allison said. Every piece in the exhibit is a oneof-a-kind work with the potential to induce curiosity and wonder. The Hay may be the one celebrating a birthday, but it seems it’s also the one giving out the gifts. “Pictures at the Hay” will be on exhibit through Oct. 31 at the David Winton Bell Gallery.

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The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published MonFriday through FriFriday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for each member of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail herald@browndailyherald.com. World Wide Web: http://www.browndailyherald.com. Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2010 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

the library,” adding that he wants to make it “a museum focused on education.” The many collections that are not on display are available for classes to view in Bristol by appointment. There will also be an online list of the artifacts in the collections coming soon. Though the move has brought the museum closer to campus, it has made it more difficult for local schools to see the exhibitions. The grant from the R.I. Council for Humanities is being used to address this issue. The $8,980 grant is going toward the Haffenreffer’s Culture CaraVan program, which sends a van to schools all over Rhode Island with replicas and other materials covering any one of eight different topics. The program was around long before the move, but is becoming much more popular since the building in Bristol closed, said Geralyn Hoffman, curator of programs and education at the Haffenreffer. CaraVan is also opening up the museum to schools that may not have been able to go to the previous location due to distance and the cost of buses, she said. The van goes to classrooms from kindergarten through 12th grade, and sometimes visits senior centers. It provides a chance for classes to “have an expert talk about the world beyond the school,” Lubar said. CaraVan “gives the kids a hands-on experiential opportunity to learn about a culture beyond what’s in the textbook,” Hoffman said. She added that the program brings together the aural, visual and tactile senses for all types of learners. The van visits with a classroom only once, so many of the individual topics have online counterparts that provide lesson plans and other tools for teachers. “Online lesson

Abby Kerson / Herald

The Haffenreffer Museum, currently exhibiting “Reimagining the Americas,” above, relocated its exhibitions to Manning Hall.

plans go beyond what we are able to do in two hours,” Hoffman said. Part of the grant is going toward the creation of an online companion for a particular topic, “Sankofa: African Americans in Rhode Island.” “Sankofa” — a West African term meaning “going back to the past in order to move forward,” according to a CaraVan brochure — teaches about slavery, beginning with the slave trade that brought West Africans to Rhode Island and ending with inequalities in today’s society. The grant will also allow 10

schools to send two teachers each to the Haffenreffer for a workshop that teaches them how to use the new Internet resources. The museum sent out fliers to principals throughout the state inviting them to apply for the workshop, which Hoffman said she hopes will be in January or February. So far five schools have been selected to participate, she said. A third part of the grant is going toward scholarships that allow the teachers who participate in the workshop to use the CaraVan program for free, instead of the usual fee of six dollars per student.


Friday, September 3, 2010

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

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“They need to be prepared for 10,000 people at a time.” — Abigail Schreiber ’11, BCA booking chair, on ticket sales

Dorm key, furniture stolen over summer

news in brief

Brown Concert Agency ticket sales revised for fall concert Students trying to secure fall concert tickets should encounter less difficulty than last semester’s Spring Weekend attendees, said Brown Concert Agency Booking Chair Abigail Schreiber ’11. BCA contracts its online ticket sales to TouchNet, a software company independent of the University. Problems purchasing Spring Weekend tickets online last semester arose when the unexpectedly large volume of hits to the website at the start of sales caused TouchNet to mistakenly detect a security threat, Schreiber said. “They did not anticipate how many students would log on,” she said. For the upcoming Big Boi ticket sales, BCA has already warned the company that “they need to be prepared for 10,000 people at a time,” she added. The concert agency also reworked its selling schedule to “give students with varying schedules as much access to ticket sales as possible” and minimize lines, Schreiber said. Distribution is staggered so that 200 tickets will be available online starting Wednesday at 8 a.m., and then 200 more will be released Sept. 9 at the same time. More of the $13 tickets will be sold the week of the concert if it can be held outside on Lincoln Field on Sept. 18, as planned. Before weather predictions are assessed on Sept. 15, only 400 spots will be sold because Alumnae Hall ­— the rain location — only accommodates that many people. Another change to previous years’ policies, in response to complaints about Spring Weekend sales, is that each student with a Brown ID may purchase only one ticket. Those who buy tickets online can pick them up starting Monday, Sept. 13, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Stephen Robert ’62 Campus Center information desk. — Suzannah Weiss

The following summary includes a selection of major incidents reported to the Department of Public Safety between June 4 and August 25. It does not include general service and alarm calls. The Providence Police Department also responds to incidents occurring off campus. DPS does not divulge information on cases that are currently under investigation by the department, PPD or the Office of Student Life. DPS maintains a daily log of all shift activity and general service calls which can be viewed during business hours at its headquarters, located at 75 Charlesfield St.

CRIME LOG June 7 8:54 a.m. The reporting party stated that on May 18 at approximately 3 p.m., he locked his bike to the bike rack outside Barus and Holley. He removed the front wheel himself for safekeeping. The bike was locked with a cable lock. Upon his return on June 6 at approximately 7 p.m. the bike and lock were missing. June 18 12:01 p.m. The reporting party from the organization of “Women and Men of Brown,” a household leasing service, reported that furniture was stolen from Metcalf Hall. There were no signs of forced entry.

June 27 11:40 a.m. A summer student stated that on June 26 at approximately 10 p.m., she was at a dance at upper Keeney Quadrangle. While she was there, she put her handbag down on the ground and left it unattended. Three minutes later, she returned to where she had placed her handbag and it was missing. July 3 1:38 p.m. A University employee reported that on June 25 at about 3 p.m., she placed a bag from the Brown Bookstore at the southeast corner of the Verney-Woolley Dining Hall. Inside the bag were a mug, hat and sweatshirt that were bought with a Dining Services purchase order. The items were for an employee who was retiring. On June 26, she noticed the bag was not where she had left it. July 4 10:51 p.m. Summer students in Champlin Hall stated they left their room at approximately 4:30 p.m. and returned at 8:30 p.m. to find an iPod video device and cash missing. The door to the room was left unlocked. July 12 8:46 a.m. A University employee reported that sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. on July 10, an unknown person or group of people took his Brown parking pass out of

his vehicle. July 12 9:42 a.m. A student reported that she entered the shower room across from her dorm room in Everett House at 9 a.m. She reported that two keys were on a lanyard in the top of her bag. The door was locked when she entered. She said she believes that she heard at least two other people enter while she was in the shower. She stated that when she exited the shower at approximately 9:10 a.m., she observed that there was just one key on her lanyard. The key for her dorm room was missing. July 18 12:13 a.m. A student reported that her residence at 155 Governor St. was broken into between 2:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on July 17. The officer observed damage to the front door consistent with the report she made with the Providence Police. A laptop, wallet, credit cards and cash were stolen. Aug. 13 11:47 a.m. On Aug. 13 at 11:45 a.m., two Brown police officers were at the corner of Bowen and Thayer streets when an unknown male approached them and stated that there had just been a purse-snatching at Cushing and Thayer streets. The officers made continued on page 4


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THE BROWN DAILY HERALD

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Friday, September 3, 2010

“You can always just anticipate a crazy night.” — Ralanda Nelson ’12, UCS Student Activities Committee Chair

OMAC flooded with activity-seeking freshmen Crime log: continued from page 1 seniors last year and is welcoming newcomers so it can rebuild, he added. Other groups saw a slower stream of students trickle in at the beginning of the night. “We’ve had a few freshmen, but we’re still watching for more people,” said Rachel Thakore ’13, leader of Brown’s chapter of Nourish International, mere minutes after finishing her booth’s setup.

Nourish International, which runs business ventures to raise money for international projects dedicated to fighting global poverty, began at Brown last year with 10 members, Thakore said. The goal for now is to expand to 15 permanent members. Ralanda Nelson ’12, chair of the Undergraduate Council of Students’ Student Activities Committee, said though she did not know the exact number of firstyear students who attended the

fair, she recognized many of the unit leaders and noticed their attendance. “I was really excited for the number of first-years that I saw coming,” she said. “This is the first time they get to see what student life is like outside the classroom.” Those same first-years made the rounds in the OMAC, some signing up for multiple clubs and looking for an “experience outside of academics,” said Sean Gilman ’14. Gilman signed his name on

the mailing lists for the Brown Republicans, Brown Inventors and the Pre-Medical Association, while fellow first-year Thomas van Hentenryck ’14 signed up for the Brown Democrats and the tennis, rowing and debate teams. Shari Chase ’14 had a specific goal — she wanted to sink her teeth into writing. “I’m looking for some kind of literary magazine to work with, so I’m just looking at all of them right now,” Chase said after signing up for the African Sun, a literary magazine that ser ves Brown’s black community. Chase also looked at the Round Magazine, the Branch Christian Ministry, ballroom dancing and women’s rugby. The Orientation Welcoming Committee and the Student Activities Office organized the event. Planning for the fair began in late June, with early registration for student groups ending in early July and regular registration continuing until August. Registering early for the fair increased a club’s chances of getting their ideal spot in the OMAC, Nelson said. “You can always just anticipate a crazy night with a lot of people,” she said, “but it always works itself out.”

GPS stolen in late Aug. continued from page 3

a broadcast and immediately began to search the area. Providence Police responded and took the information. The area was checked, but the male suspect was not found. Aug. 18 9:49 a.m. A summer student stated that he arrived at Barus and Holley at approximately 8 a.m. and went to the lab in room 511 to work on his studies. He stated that at approximately 9 a.m. he left the room to use the restroom. When he returned at 9:15 a.m., he discovered his laptop missing. Aug. 24 3:06 p.m. The reporting party stated that she parked her vehicle at approximately 2 p.m. on Charlesfield Street. When she returned at 3 p.m., she discovered a rock had been thrown through her window and her GPS was stolen. Providence Police responded to take a report. Contact information was provided for a witness who had a description of the suspects.

Downgraded Hurricane Earl should hit East Coast today continued from page 1 pay attention to how the storm is progressing.” Klawunn also urged students to make sure they have accurate emergency contact information in Brown’s electronic directory and to let somebody know if they intend

to go away from campus so they can be accounted for in the case of an emergency. Closing windows, including storm windows, can protect against water damage in driving rains. Regarding off-campus plans for the long weekend, Klawunn urged students to “use common sense.”


Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald

Page 6 | Friday, september 3, 2010

Why don’t you write? letters@browndailyherald.com

ale x yuly

d i a m o n d s a n d c oa l

One-hundred diamonds to the John Hay on its 100th birthday, and another for its copy of a book with handwritten notes by Galileo himself. We think we saw some annotations from him in the Rock bathroom, too.

t h e b r o w n d a i ly h e r a l d Editor-in-Chief

Managing Editor Chaz Kelsh

George Miller

Deputy Managing Editors Emmy Liss Joanna Wohlmuth

editorial Anne Speyer Suzannah Weiss Sara Luxenberg Brian Mastroianni Brigitta Greene Ben Schreckinger Sydney Ember Zack Bahr Tony Bakshi Ashley McDonnell Erika Mueller

Arts & Culture Editor Arts & Culture Editor Features Editor Features Editor Metro Editor Metro Editor News Editor Sports Editor Sports Editor Asst. Sports Editor Asst. Sports Editor

Graphics & Photos Graphics Editor Stephen Lichenstein Graphics Editor Alex Yuly Photo Editor Stephanie London Photo Editor Max Monn Photo Editor Hilary Rosenthal Sports Photo Editor Jonathan Bateman Production Kelly Mallahan Julien Ouellet Gili Kliger Katie Wilson Neal Poole

Copy Desk Chief Design Editor Asst. Design Editor Asst. Design Editor Web Editor

Post- magazine Editor-in-Chief Sam Carter Editor-in-Chief Kate Doyle Editor-in-Chief Marshall Katheder

Senior Editors Ben Hyman Seth Motel

Business General Managers Office Manager Shawn Reilly Claire Kiely Katie Koh Directors Sales Kelly Wess Finance Matthew Burrows Client Relations Margaret Watson Alumni Relations Christiana Stephenson

Diamond to the marijuana-growing school opening in Barrington this month — but coal to Brown not offering a “joint” degree program with it. Diamond to the Chipotle headed our way. Finally, a place to eat after our horticulture studies class in Barrington! Cubic zirconium to the linguistics professor who said of the temporary Wayland Square lab space, “as far as parking goes, this is paradise.” The only downside is being so far from campus you need to call a Big Yellow Taxi to get back.

Cubic zirconium to Brown, whose donations dropped a quarter last year. We dropped a quarter once, but we found it under the couch. Diamond to Professor of Anthropology Stephen Houston for finding what he termed “primordial bling” in Guatemala. We thought Ruth wore it great at Convocation Wednesday. Coal to University emergency planners, who identified the Ratty as a vital location. What are we going to do, shelter under hot hams on bulky rolls? Coal to this weather — but maybe we should save it for the winter. “Diamonds and Coal” is written by Herald staff. You can submit your own at diamondsandcoal.com.

Managers Local Sales Arjun Vaidya National Sales Marco deLeon University Sales Aditi Bhatia University Sales Jared Davis Recruiter Sales Trenten Nelson-Rivers Maximilian Barrows Business Operations Business Analytics Jilyn Chao Credit and Collections Danielle Marshak Special Projects Alexander Carrere Staff Kathy Bui Opinions Opinions Editor Michael Fitzpatrick Opinions Editor Alyssa Ratledge Editorial Page Board Matt Aks Editorial Page Editor Anita Mathews Board member Tyler Rosenbaum Board member Melissa Shube Board member Gaurie Tilak Board member

Gili Kliger, Leor Shtull-Leber, Designers

correction

Claire Gianotti, Kelly Mallahan, Joe Milner, Dan Towne, Copy Editors Nicole Boucher, Anne Speyer, Caitlin Trujillo, Night Editors Senior Staff Writers Ana Alvarez, Ashley Aydin, Rebecca Ballhaus, Alexander Bell, Nicole Boucher, Fei Cai, Alicia Chen, Kristina Fazzalaro, Miriam Furst, Jessica Liss, Sarah Mancone, Ben Noble, Claire Peracchio, Lindor Qunaj, Mark Raymond, Luisa Robledo, Caitlin Trujillo Staff Writers Anna Andreeva, Anne Artley, Shara Azad, Casey Bleho, Sofia Castello, Amy Chen, Sarah Forman, Miriam Furst, Max Godnick, Thomas Jarus, Sarah Julian, Julia Kim, Emily Rosen, Bradley Silverman, Qian Yin Senior Sales Executives Katie Galvin, Liana Nisimova, Isha Gulati, Samantha Wong Sales Associates Roshni Assomull, Brady Caspar, Anna Cook, Siena deLisser, Begum Ersan, Tommy Fink, Ryan Fleming, Evan Gill, Rajiv Iyengar, Debbie Lai, Jason Lee, Katie Lynch, Sean Maroongroge, Zahra Merchant, Edjola Ruci, Webber Xu Senior Finance Associates Jason Beckman, Lauren Bosso, Mae Cadao, Margot Grinberg, Sajjad Hasan, Adam Fern Finance Associates Lisa Berlin, Mahima Chawla, Mark Hu, Jason Lee, Nicholas Robbins, Daniel Slutsky, Emily Zheng Design Staff Caleigh Forbes, Jessica Kirschner, Leor Shtull-Leber Web Staff Andrew Chen, Warren Jin, Claire Kwong, Michael Marttila, Ethan Richman, Adam Zethraeus Photo Staff Qidong Chen, Janine Cheng, Alex DePaoli, Frederic Lu, Quinn Savit Copy Editors Nicole Boucher, Zoe Chaves, Greg Conyers, Claire Gianotti, Aida Haile-Mariam, Victoria Hartman, Tiffany Hsu, Christine Joyce, Mrinal Kapoor, Abby Kerson, Matthew Lim, Sara Luxenberg, Alexandra McFarlane, Joe Milner, Rajan Mittal, Lindor Qunaj, Kate-Lyn Scott, Carmen Shulman, Rebecca Specking, Dan Towne, Carolina Veltri

An article in Thursday’s Herald (“Local marijuana-growing class to start this month,” Sept. 2) incorrectly quoted Luis Hernandez as saying that he had gone back and forth between “working with local caregivers and loaning and trading.” He instead said he was “learning and trading.” The Herald regrets the error.

C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar Fridays after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to letters@browndailyherald.com. Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.


Opinions The Brown Daily Herald

friDay, september 3, 2010 | Page 7

When freedom falls victim SUSANNAH KROEBER Opinions Columnist

The United States’ founding was one of setting a new expectation for the protection of individual and group freedoms, surpassing the so-called assurances of freedom in European monarchies. The revolutionaries sought to create a republic far freer than any other state. Many people remember the phrase “We hold these truths to be self-evident” more than the 27 descriptions of wrong-doings on the part of the British throne and government outlined by the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. Nothing could be clearer than the fact that America intended to overcome these failures in favor of equitable governance far beyond what the world had ever seen before. The recent debate surrounding the Park51 Cordoba House in New York City is one in a long string of episodes that demonstrates how many legislators and their constituents today are more interested in poll numbers than in the foundational truths of the United States — namely, that no matter the difficulty presented by granting freedoms to all groups, doing so is a fundamental characteristic of the nation. It is what distinguishes the U.S. from less free states and allows us to claim the status of a leader among nations. On this issue at least, the American pub-

lic has absolved itself of the enormous responsibility that being a leader on issues of freedom entails. 61 percent of Americans oppose the so-called Ground Zero Mosque and 70 percent believe that it insults the memory of the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. 63 percent of New York voters, on the other hand, state that while they oppose the building of the mosque, they do believe in the constitutional right of the group to build it. The most disturbing revelations of this controversy are those pertaining to perceptions of Muslims. 28 percent of Americans

ca’s abdication of duty: “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.” When has America set the bar for freedoms as low as the Saudi state’s? In our doctrines on human rights, with which we condemn in strong language the actions of countries such as Saudi Arabia, America articulates a higher standard to which all countries should aspire. We quietly recognize our own

Freedom of religion still exists in America, it seems, but only if you do not seek public office.

believe Muslims should be barred from the Supreme Court; nearly a third believe that Muslims should be prevented from seeking the Presidency. Freedom of religion still exists in America, it seems, but only if you do not seek public office. Apparently Americans have forgotten how useful and necessary it is for the whole of the population to be represented by their elected officials. It was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s remarks that crystallized Ameri-

past faults, from systematic extermination of Native American populations to World War II-era internment camps, and ask other countries to overcome past or current faults. It is not only on issues as close to the American heart as freedom of religion in which the U.S. has fallen away from leadership on the world stage. President George W. Bush, as well as Congress during his tenure, repeatedly called for China to take the first step on carbon reduction and climate

change before the U.S. would seriously consider dramatic change of its own. Instead of being an advocate for better environmental policy, America took a back seat, allowing China to claim the place of the global leader on green energy in the press. Even more egregious was this summer’s immigration debate debacle. Arizona demonstrated to the nation that Americans are not safe from stops and searches on the basis of race, and that officials are eager to score political points by making life harder for some of our poorest citizens. Sen. John McCain proved an example of a legislator more interested in reelection than preserving integrity and respect for American ideals when he reversed his position on immigration to stave off criticism from the far right.  In the middle of the 20th century, the United States sought to lead, for better or worse. But at the beginning of this century, politicians have vied for reelection-friendly sound bites rather than fighting for the ideals that would earn them and this country immortality. It is time for those of us who believe in the ideas espoused by the writers of the Declaration of Independence to tell our current leaders that although there is yet room before reaching the bottom, we would rather challenge ourselves to climb back towards the top.

Susannah Kroeber ‘11 is a Slavic studies and history concentrator from Beijing, China.

Danger: students crossing MICHELLE UHRICK Opinions Columnist Youth, in the popular imagination, is supposed to be a time of naivete and courage, all born from a sense of invincibility. If Brown students ever subscribed to that feeling of invulnerability, it has been severely damaged over the past year. The shocking death of Avi Schaefer ’13, halfway through his first year at Brown, was compounded this summer by the sudden death of Paige Hicks ’11 while biking across the country to raise money for the homeless. Grim headlines have flooded in about the non-undergraduate population as well. Recent alum Erinn Phelan ’09 was seriously injured in a drunk driving hit-and-run in New York, and Brown grad student Tam Ngoc Tran was killed when an oncoming car drifted over the central line in Maine. Whatever illusions about youth and death we once harbored, this stream of horrible events has attempted to disperse. It seems like Brown has had more than its fair share of tragedy lately. Surprisingly, national statistics would seem to agree. According to official government statistics, the annual pedestrian fatality rate is 1.44 per 100,000; Brown, with its undergraduate population of 6,000, has had three pedestrian

deaths in the past year. That yields a rate 35 times the national average, and although those statistics are distorted (Hicks was a cyclist, and the 6,000 is the undergraduate and not the alum population), there can be little doubt that in the past year Brown students have been struck by cars at rates far above the national average. In the past year, there has been a spate of articles decrying Brown pedestrians for their

produced any accidents, and certainly none at high enough speeds to cause serious injury. The argument that this habit has made us bad pedestrians, and thus easy targets, also lacks support: Schaefer was struck by a drunk driver while walking in the break-down lane, and Phelan and her friend were in a crosswalk. If it is not because we are bad pedestrians, then why? A look into the statistics on pedestrian deaths shows that we have other

There can be little doubt that in the past year Brown students have been struck by cars at rates far above the national average.

poor street-crossing capabilities (for example, Mike Johnson’s ’11 column, “Shameful walking,” Nov. 12). At first glance, this would seem to be an explanation for the aforementioned statistics. What was described in his column, however, is the well-known tendency of Brown students to attempt to pedestrianize their entire campus during the day… by force. While inconsiderate and probably nerve-wracking for drivers unlucky enough to have to cross Waterman, to my knowledge this has not actually

risk factors. To begin with, 40 percent of all pedestrian fatalities occur when the victim had been drinking; only 13 percent of the drivers in fatality cases had alcohol in their systems. (This is likely linked to “Freakonomics” authors Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt’s infamous assertion that drunk driving is safer than drunk walking for the individual in question.) Even in cases where the driver is blatantly responsible, a sober person can still gauge whether a car is going to blast through

a red light, for example, better than someone who has been drinking. Additionally, nearly 22 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur from 9 p.m. to 11:59 p.m., with an additional 13 percent occurring between midnight and 2:59 a.m. A quick glance over the cases named so far shows that almost all of the occurred at night (with the exception of Hicks, who was cycling during the day). As college students, we are out at the most vulnerable hours, in the most vulnerable conditions, and we, unlike most of the American population, are on foot. As we return to Providence this fall, I just want to remind everyone of what they probably already know: to be careful, especially when walking back to the dorms after a night out. To make matters worse, Providence was ranked 12th worst city in the nation by Men’s Health on driving statistics such as fatal accidents and speeding. The problem may not be that we are darting into the street, but it’s all we can control.

Michelle Uhrick ’11 is an international relations and economics concentrator from Connecticut. She can be contacted at michelle_uhrick@ brown.edu.

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1 c a l e n da r Today, September 3

tomorrow, September 4

3–4:30 P.M. — Open House and Forum: Service and Community— Finding both at Brown, Swearer Center for Public Service 3–5 p.m. — Knowledge Networks and Empowering Publics, Watson Institute, Joukowsky Forum

1–4 P.M. — Walking Tours: An Introduction to the City of Providence, Swearer Center for Public Service

comics Bat & Gaz | Sofia Ortiz

7–8 P.M. — Sex @ Brown, Salomon 101

menu Sharpe Refectory

Verney-Woolley Dining Hall

Lunch — Rosemary Portobello Sub Sandwich, Chicken with Raisins and Olives, Eggplant and Rice Provencale

Lunch — Chicken Fingers, Sticky Rice, Butterscotch Cookies

Dinner — Basmati Rice Pilaf, Grilled Carribbean Jerk Chicken, Spinach with Feta Pizza

Cabernet Voltaire | Abe Pressman

Dinner — Garden Style Baked Scrod, Cheese Raviolis with Sauce, Jelly Cake Roll

crossword Dot Comic | Eshan Mitra and Brendan Hainline

The Adventures of Team Vag | Wendy Kwartin

Dr. Bear | Mat Becker


Friday, September 3, 2010